It seems like half the exhibitors at any given expo hand out trade show giveaways. Some of them are so cheap or impractical, one must wonder why they even bother. It’s more than a waste of money – it’s a missed opportunity for branding and “top of mind” status for your company.
Who are you?
Your promotional item will be more memorable if it ties into your brand or corporate identity. Select something that plays off your products and services. A tech company, for example, could hand out customized USB drives. Pick an item that showcases whatever is unique about your company.
Keep your customers in mind when you select your giveaways. Something that addresses their needs (while reminding them of you!) will be kept and used. You don’t have to overdo your branding and logos; you just want to remind them where they got this fabulous thing.
If you have the budget, you can have promotional giveaways created just for you (even beyond stock items with your branding printed on them). When it’s useful, unique, and memorable, people will pick it up and talk about it. Also, if you have the capabilities, you can create your own custom giveaway, such as a checklist for items that pertain to your business, or calendar customized with portfolio images or important business dates.
Prevent the “grab and go”
The most common method of tchotchke distribution at trade shows is to leave a pile on the table for passers-by. This is like throwing away a list of prospects. You miss out on a chance to talk to attendees in order to qualify them. Tables are better used for demo items or samples that are not for giving away. Make eye contact with the passer-by and greet them to start a conversation… then hand them a promo item.
Promotional giveaways are not produced overnight, so begin planning your strategy well in advance of your next trade show. Make the item attractive, useful to clients and prospects, and give your booth visitors a memorable experience. And remember to qualify those leads!